.three.

Dear Annabeth,

18238498_10203381114005265_4594424703087530755_o

It’s hard to believe that three years ago today, my water broke unexpectedly and we rushed to the hospital to meet you a month earlier than planned.  Since that first big surprise, our journey with you has been full of many, many more.

IMG_2196

Shop Annabeth’s dress, hair bow, and pearls

You’re still a tiny little thing, but you speak like an adult which is both hilarious and terrifying.  You’re assertive in all the best ways and even a touch willful in ways that will serve you well when you’re an adult.  Sometimes we call you our Sour Patch Kid because first thing in the morning you’re a little sour and after that wears off, you’re pure sugar.

IMG_2082

Shop Annabeth’s dress, hair bow, and pearls

You’re now fully potty-trained and you are so proud of yourself!  You’re the proud owner of a new tricycle (pink, of course) and you’re the Fanciest Nancy of them all.  You love all things blush and bashful and princesses and you have your Daddy completed and totally wrapped around your tiny little pinky finger.

You’re doing so well in gymnastics!  You’re so brave and strong!  You especially love the beam and bars and you also love free time and stamps at the end of each class.

You are such a good friend and love playing with others (but you’re also excellent at playing on your own).  You talk about your friends and cousins constantly and especially enjoy your nursery class at church and your story time pals at the library.  Your favorite friend is probably your Pop Calvin or your Darlin (and you pronounce it Dahlin’ which is utterly delightful).

IMG_2129

Shop our pajamas, Annabeth’s pajamas, and our slippers

Speaking of Pop Calvin, you are one of the fortunate few who has the opportunity to spend every afternoon with your great-grandparents.  Your Pop and Darlin’ take you round for a visit nearly every afternoon and you always come away with graham crackers in tow.  Your great-grandparents absolutely delight in you and I find so much fulfillment in seeing how well they love you.

You are still an amazing sleeper–you take a great nap most days and still manage to sleep 12 hours each night.  You’re getting ready to shift into your big girl bed and you’re so excited about the prospect.  Your big girl bed was mine when I was young and I already can tell you’re going to love it.

IMG_2188

Shop my dress, heels, bracelet stack, watch, and earrings.  Shop Annabeth’s dress, shoes, hair bow, and pearls.  Shop Josh’s shoes which I absolutely abhor 🙂  He loves them.

You love learning about Jesus and going to church, especially when your Sunday School teachers give you a limitless supply of Goldfish.  You love that Daddy coaches football and you especially love being at the stadium or in the locker room.  You love Mommy’s cheerleaders at Emmanuel and you especially love that they sneak you pizza and treats.

In your lifetime, you’ve traveled so many fun and exciting places.  NYC, Charleston, Asheville, Raleigh, Pawley’s Island, HHI, Lake Burton, and, of course you’ve been to Disney World five times.  You love your Pop & Darlin’s RV (you sweetly call it your ‘tamper) and especially love when you and your cousin Asher get to go ‘tamping together.

IMG_1644

Shop my jeans, my necklace, and my Tieks.  Shop Annabeth’s dress and her hair bow.

Your vocabulary is vast and you say the funniest things like, “I want to go outside because I want to play with chalk but Daddy will probably say no because it’s cold.”  It’s always so funny to hear such large sentences come out of such a small body!  Our favorite thing that you say always pops up when Daddy comes home from the weight room, “Daddy, are you stink?”  You also often put your hands on your hips when you’re angry and shout, “I AM MULAN!” or “I AM THE LOST PRINCESS!”

We cannot wait to celebrate you, our big girl with all the Chick-fil-A, living room dance parties, and tricycle rides.

We love you so much.

XOXO,

Mommy

 

.prime valentine.

So you waited until the last minute.  Don’t panic!  Here are some picks for your Valentine that are guaranteed to arrive on time!

Prime Valentine's Day

For Her:

1//Barefoot Dreams Socks:  an inexpensive “splurge” that will be so cozy!

2//Monogrammed Pendant:  this is such an easy gift for a friend, co-worker, or even a teenager!  Since it’s Prime, it arrives super fast and makes you look thoughtful enough to have something personalized.

3//Makeup Case:  this particular case is all the rage with bloggers because it can hold all the things and keeps your pallets and brushes safe.  The inside can be rearranged to meet your needs.  This is great for the gal who travels often.

For Him:

1//Bluetooth Hand Warmer:  this is the neatest idea and way safer than Hot Hands.  You charge it overnight and it provides warmth for several hours + it can charge your phone!

2//Weekender:  I love this bag and it’s such a great price point.

3//Tile:  these are so handy, especially if you’ve got a guy who is constantly losing things like his keys or wallet.  Coach keeps them in both of those places but I’ve also heard of people who put them in their golf bags or even checked luggage because you can know for sure that your stuff made it onto a flight.

For Littles:

1//Alphabet Magnets:  these look like so much fun!  And if you grab a cheap cookie sheet at the dollar store, these would make a great toy for the car since they’re foam.

2//Fat Brain Dimpl Duo:  don’t ask me why, but kids love this thing.  My youngest nephew got this as a Christmas gift and the older kiddos were fighting over it all evening long!  This is another toy that would be great to have in the car.

3//Melissa & Doug Sticker Pads:  we go through these sticker pads like hotcakes at our house.  They’re reusable and great to keep in your quiet bag or in the car.

 

.wellness check-in.

We survived all 7219 days of January!  That in and of itself feels like such an accomplishment because it’s dark and cold and it also rained for forty days and forty nights.

At the beginning of 2020, I outlined my word for the year.  I decided to choose a word of focus this year instead of making arbitrary goals that are easily broken.  It feels like zeroing in on areas where I’m lacking and making decisions based on this word makes accomplishing goals a lot more manageable.

This year my goal is wellness and I’ve been working on it concerning my body, my mind, and my soul.  Here’s where my focus was specifically at during January of 2020:

  1. Physically:  I’ve made time to be active nearly every single day this month.  That’s quite a feat, especially considering all of the balls I’m juggling.  This means sacrificing in other areas, specifically time.  I’ve been back on the BBG bandwagon and I realized that I’d forgotten how good it feels to have the accomplishment of a workout in the back of my mind.  On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I complete a HIIT workout (and on Monday/Thursday, this means a 5:00 a.m. wake up call!).  On Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday, I get at least an hour of light cardio in (walking if the weather is nice or running on the elliptical at my gym).  I also try to squeeze a few core workouts in.  On Sundays, I try to make sure our family gets a walk and that I do some type of yoga practice.  All in all, this adds up to be about an hour of my time each day which sounds like a lot until you think about the fact that one hour is around 4% of my day.  Coach has been so dedicated to making sure I get my hour and I think that’s the ultimate secret to my success so far.  He never forces me to workout–rather, he reminds me of the satisfaction of a job well done and makes sure I have the margin in my day to accomplish it.  I’ve felt better this month than I have in a while which I consider to be a win!  In addition to being active, I’ve been making really positive and health choices concerning the foods we eat in our home.  We’re continuing to banish chemicals, glyphosate, and other additives in the name of real, good food.
  2. Mentally:  Man, being done with graduate school has been the biggest relief.  I feel like I’ve had a big turn around in my mental health because I haven’t had the stress of research and qualitative data analysis.  I think an additional part of the healing process my mental health so desperately needed is the fact that I’m active physically each day.  Last fall I was in such a vicious cycle of feeling low and not being active–I’m thankful that I’m feeling stronger physically so that I can feel better mentally.  Side note:  we finally got Annabeth potty trained which felt like a huge victory for my mental health!
  3. Spiritually:  It’s so strange how intimately tied together my spiritual health is with my physical and mental health.  I have really been deep in God’s word this month and seeking His wisdom & truth.  Again, this means sacrificing time (and an earlier than usual wake up call) but the wisdom and insight I’ve gained from my one-on-one time with the Lord has been priceless.  I’m still using Jesus Calling and we’re in the midst of a church-wide fast.  I’m excited to see where my spiritual growth leads me in 2020.

I said this last month, but it’s still so crazy how cyclical these three things are.  When I’m active, my mental health is better.  When my mental health is better, my spiritual growth seems to soar.  And when I’m up for a morning workout, what better way to cool down and slow my heart rate than time with the Lord and a good cup of coffee?  I’ve been really, really proud that I’ve kept my wellness in all three aspects at the forefront of my mind this past month.  Realistically, this wouldn’t be possible without my rock star of a husband who has no issues with handling things like dinner, dishes, or bedtime so I can have a moment to zip to the gym or quiet time of reflection.

How are your goals for 2020 coming along?

XOXO,

Court

 

.january favorites.

January Favorites

1//Elderberry:  Technically we take a locally made syrup, but I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about liquid medications and these gummies have super high ratings.  There’s tons of research out there about elderberry and we take it every single day.

2//Billie Razor:  I was influenced, but this really is a great razor.  I don’t shave every single day, but when I do this razor gives me such a close shave without any razor burn (a huge plus for me since I have such sensitive skin).  This is a delivery service, so they deliver new blades on a schedule.  I have mine setup to deliver new blades every two months for $9.

3//The Dinky Donkey:  Annabeth loves The Wonky Donkey, so she received no fewer than two copies of the follow-up book for Christmas.  She loves the story of the Wonky Donkey’s daughter and Mommy & Daddy love a little variety.

4//Little Potty:  We potty trained Annabeth this month, and let me tell ya, it wasn’t fun.  This little potty was pretty convenient and there’s a place to store wipes + it makes a flushing sound which is really appealing to toddlers.

5//Melissa & Doug Water Wow Pads:  We keep these everywhere…in my purse, in our cars, in our quiet bag for restaurants.  You fill up the little paintbrush with water and the reusable pad reveals all sorts of fun things to “paint.”

6//Silicone Straws:  We love these.  I’m not as environmentally conscious as some, but we do try to be careful about our waste output.  Coach grew up at the beach, so those poor turtles you see that got stuck in can rings are always in the back of his mind.  These are easy to keep in my bag and in a drawer at home so we can use them versus plastic straws.

7//The Witcher:  Easily the most confusing//entertaining//weird show I’ve watched in a long time, but we binged it in just a few days on Netflix.  It’s kind of like Game of Thrones (with the same type of content rating…just a warning), but only if Game of Thrones had a baby with a weird SyFy Network show that had billions in funding for CGI.  Spoiler Alert:  tons of time jumps make it hard to follow, so this helps.

8//Funnel Neck Coat:  My FIL is an excellent gift giver because the man sticks to the list.  I love receiving gifts, but only if it’s something I’ve picked out versus something someone thinks I might like (this doesn’t apply to my mother because she has impeccable taste).  I put this coat (a dupe of this way more expensive one from J. Crew) on my Christmas list and ol’ Barry delivered.  I love it…so chic!

9//Rifle Paper Company for Corkcicle Tumbler:  I have two of these and use them every single day.  The size is perfect for me.  I use one for coffee and one for ice water.  They keep my coffee piping hot and my ice is good all day long and they’re so much prettier than Yeti cups!  I got mine from Empire South and if you use code COURTNEY15 you can get 15% off pretty much anything on their website.

XOXO,

Court

.loving your littles on valentine’s day.

IMG_2023

Shop Annabeth’s dress & bow

We brought our brand new baby home from the hospital on Valentine’s Day.  It was a month before we thought she would be joining Team Callicutt, so we didn’t really get to celebrate (but my grandmother did send over Magic Cookie Bars when we got home, so that made up for the lack of date night).  Coach surprised me with this gorgeous necklace and we marveled at our tiny little girl all evening long.

We’d never really taken Valentine’s Day very seriously until Annabeth, but now it’s just another reason to celebrate our girl.

One way we intentionally celebrate all the things we love about our girl is by taping paper hearts with affirmations to her door each evening after she has gone to bed.  We do this February 1st–February 14th and leave them up for the remainder of the month so we can speak them over her.

IMG_2024

Shop Annabeth’s dress, her hairbow, my jeans, and my sweater

It’s such an easy way to let your littles know how very much they are loved and it’s totally free.  To make it a little easier, I created PDF versions that you can print yourself!  Just click on them below to download and be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can share your intentional celebrations!

Download here:

Girl Hearts

Boy Hearts

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your little ones?  I’m Southern and 100% a Grandmillenial, so I’m here for seasonal celebrations!

XOXO,

Court

PS:  Dying over these Tricia Lowenfield Valentine Cards…you can get a printed version here or a PDF version here and it’s totally customizable!  So much cuter than the drugstore boxed versions on store shelves right now.

 

.casual valentine’s day looks for less.

I’m not completely sure I’m going to survive winter this year.  It’s dark, so dreary, and I just want to wear sandals already!  I popped into Old Navy to look for signs of florals and instead I found myself with a cart full of blush pink tops that will be perfect for Valentine’s Day this year (especially since Valentine’s Day is on a Friday so you can hopefully get away with jeans and something pink in your workplace!).

For the record, I grabbed a pair of Old Navy jeans for this try-on, but I’m convinced that I’ll never find another pair of jeans quite like Madewell’s Road Trippers.  On this shopping trip, I tried on the Mid-Rise Pop Icon jeans.  They were okay, but even with the 00, they were a little too big for me.  In all sweaters and tops, I’m wearing an XS and for reference, I’m 5′ tall and weigh around 93 pounds.

This sweater actually came home with me.  It’s thin enough that you won’t burn slap up and it’s also really polished looking.

This slouchy sweater is perfect for leggings, jeans, or even a cute skirt.  It is a touch itchy, but a fantastic price point.

I love this class button down because the stripes can carry you all the way until Labor Day (and in the South where it stays hot until December 27 it can take you even further).  It’s just a really great wardrobe staple.  The open front cardigan is such a pretty blush color and it’s super soft.

This tunic-style sweater comes in so many color options and it’s an amazing price point.  It easily French tucks into jeans and could also be worn with leggings.

This was cute on the hanger, but a little too big for me.  It would be great with jeans, white pants, or tucked into a fun skirt.  It’s a linen blend and the color is so pretty in person.

Last but not least, athleisure for all, please!  You could easily pair this top and vest with leggings and cute tennis shoes for running around town.

Do you dress for holidays?  I totally do!

XOXO,

Court

.weekend recap.

What is it about “short” weeks that feel extra long?  I love having an extra day off, but it just means I’m playing catch-up for the remainder of the week!

This weekend was equal parts restful and fun.  On Friday, I completed our Friday Reset and it felt so nice to go to bed (early) so I could wake up in a totally clean home.  We made grain-free pizza together as a family and then watched Annabeth’s choice of movie while we ate (she chose The Rescuers Down Under on Disney+).  We try to keep our Fridays consistent with pizza and a movie because it’s so important to us that we build traditions like my Mama did.  My brother and I loved when Mama would order a “Family Feast” meal from the local pizza place and we could eat in the den on an old sheet and watch movies while playing board games.  Papa Don’s Pizza has long been closed and Annabeth’s not ready for board games, but we’re getting there.

We were in bed before 9:00 on Friday and I took the time to do alllll the steps in my skincare routine (including this new serum that has been working wonders) + wash my hair.  It felt so good to slip into some soft Pima cotton, pull on my sleep mask, and just sleep.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to the Roystonian for our regular family breakfast.  That’s another one of those traditions that my parents were so good at establishing when we were small–big breakfasts on Saturdays.  Annabeth loves the Roystonian…she’s considered a regular!  Nowadays she doesn’t even have to order because the kitchen has her Mickey-shaped pancake and plate of oatmeal ready when she skips through the door.

Saturday afternoon was spent at the gym–ESPN joined us for my ballgames and we had so much fun cheering on two very close, exciting ball games!  This is only my first season as a collegiate coach, but I’ve really enjoyed it (and being in a Christian work environment).  It doesn’t hurt that I get to coach with one of my really great friends!

I left the gym and took off for Watkinsville to celebrate one of my very best friend’s birthdays.  Kari, Malini, and I have been the best of friends (along with our other best buddy Audra) since the first grade.  We’ve been there for all the major and minor milestones in life (dating, college, weddings, pregnancies, and now parenthood) and through Kari, we met Tiffany and Kyra.  We went out to celebrate Kari’s 32nd birthday and we once again chose Chuck’s Fish to celebrate.

IMG_1962

Tunic, Leather Leggings, Heels, Earrings, Necklace (from left to right:  Malini, Tiffany, Kari, me, & Kyra)

It’s kind of funny…we’re all moms, so it’s a little funny when we get the opportunity to go out because we’re suddenly without milk cups, diaper bags, and our children.  We didn’t leave Malini’s house for dinner until after 7:00 and by the time we made it to the restaurant, we were told there was at least an hour wait.  At 7 on a Saturday in Downtown Athens, pretty much everywhere from Chuck’s Fish to Little Italy is going to have a wait like that and Kyra had the best idea of eating dessert first!  We hiked back up to Cinnaholic and splurged on scoops of cookie dough and cinnamon rolls.  Kyra and Malini ducked into a CVS and grabbed a pack of candles and a lighter and we made the birthday girl blow out a candle on everything from her scoop of cookie dough to the shrimp dip appetizer we ordered at dinner and it was so fun!

If you’re ever downtown, Cinnaholic is a great place for an indulgent dessert.  And Chuck’s Fish has the most amazing and fresh seafood and sushi.  They have a really extensive drink menu (and I can vouch for how delicious their club soda with lime is, lol) and some really unique sushi rolls and appetizers.  This time around I got their shrimp dip which they serve with special hot sauce and it was so good.  I also had my requisite Philly Roll.  Everything is always so delicious and the service is always top-notch.

After dinner, we talked and talked at the table until we got too sleepy to stay upright.  We drove back to Malini’s house and changed into jammies before snacking on popcorn and just talking until we basically fell asleep.  I think the Lord designed women to need community and I think this is especially true of young mothers.  It’s so important and precious to have time with my friends who are in the same stages of life as me.  Even though we stayed up way too late (and then woke up at our regular time…mom life), I left on Sunday morning with my bucket full to the brim.

After a quick trip into Trader Joe’s to grab what we needed for the week (girl’s night and a solo grocery trip!), I did a little more running around and headed home to my girl and our favorite guy.  We spent Sunday afternoon napping, playing, and prepping for the week ahead.

I hope your weekend filled your bucket!

XOXO,

Court

.january target haul.

I recently popped into Target to see if I could spy any signs of life concerning spring.  I’m desperate for all of it…the warmth, the longer days, the pastel colors.  I’m just not made for winter and post-Christmas I tend to get the blues concerning my wardrobe.  I revert to loads of black and repeat the same five things over and over again until it’s finally socially acceptable to wear my Lilly Pulitzer again.  Target seemed to offer slim pickings for the weird transitional season we’re creeping up on, but I did find some fun picks to brighten up your in-the-meanwhile wardrobe.

This cream sweater is so feminine and delicate looking.  It would be great with a suede skirt and French tucks easily.  I’m a sucker for statement anything and these sleeves made me so happy.  This is cozy without being drab.  I’m wearing an XS in the sweater and a 00 in the jeans (I feel like the jeans run a little large).

These basic tees from Target are my #1 go-to, especially for my mom uniform.  They tuck easily, launder really well, and they come in loads of good colors.  If you’re looking for a staple white or black tee, give these a try.  I’m wearing an XS and I feel this style runs TTS.

I’m telling you, these basic tees are the best at layering.  This cardigan is great for transitioning to spring and it’s such a pretty peachy color in person.

I saw this dress on a mannequin and snagged it because it’s all the things I want to be in theory:  long, ethereal, & boho-chic.  My sister-in-law or friend Rosie could totally pull this off.  I’m not sure when I’ll learn to stop trying to be something that I’m not, because this dress looks way more Little House on the Prairie than I care to admit.  This would be so fun for brunch or a casual spring wedding!

This t-shirt dress is a great length and weight for spring.  You could pair it with a jacket like I did, but it would also be super cute with a cardigan for colder days.  I always get a lot of mileage out of staples like this one and I especially love that it’s not that jersey/piko material that everyone went nuts over a few years back.  It’s not available online in this color yet but I’ll keep checking and add the link once it is uploaded!

A dress so nice I tried it twice.  I’m so ready to wear this color all spring and summer long.  It’s not available online yet in this hue, but I’ll keep checking and add the link once it is uploaded!

Have you already started buying for spring?

XOXO,

Court

.valentine gifts for kiddos.

We don’t do anything huge for Annabeth for Valentine’s Day, mainly because her birthday is on February 12th, but I still like to get her a little something to mark the occasion.  Here are a few low-tech picks your younger kiddos will love:

Valentine Kids

1//A good umbrella is practical, especially once your kiddo is old enough to start getting into the car by themselves.  There is nothing worse than getting soaked keeping your toddler covered (just being honest).  Here’s a boy version.

2//A Pura water bottle is one of the safest options out there, so this makes a great, practical gift.  Annabeth has one and it’s so easy to clean and it makes me feel better that she isn’t being exposed to BPAs or other nasty chemicals that can leech into liquids.

3//Magnatiles are such a great STEM activity because kids can create practically anything.  Bonus:  they won’t feel like a Lego when you step on them in the middle of the night.  You could even use these in the car if you pack a dollar store cookie sheet!

4//Wooden blocks will never, ever, ever stop being fun.

Do you shop for little sussies for your kiddos for Valentine’s Day?

XOXO,

Court

.valentine gifts for men.

I’m not sure why, but Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect time to get your man things he needs, but won’t buy.  This gift list reflects that since Coach will 100% buy Annabeth and me unnecessary things while making do with items that are long since past their prime.

Valentine Men

1//A Yeti Hopper is definitely a splurge, but it’s one that the whole family can use (a win-win in my opinion).

2//A really nice weekender is 100% something your man can probably use, but would never buy for himself.  Why?  Because he’s probably still using his duffel bag from his intramural days.  Help him level up.

3//My parents got me the rose gold carry-on and checked luggage from Swiss Gear as a graduation gift and now I feel like Coach needs a complimentary set so we’re those people at the airport.  Luggage is always a great gift, especially when it’s well-made.

4//Airpods are a current classic, especially if your guy loves true crime podcasts or running.

5//Nothing says, “I love you,” quite like the gift of SPF.  This set comes with a travel size bottle he can keep in his golf bag and refill from the pump.  This is a great brand that we both really love.

6//A Rocketbook is ideal if your man is a football coach, an engineer, or someone who finds reasons to scribble on random pieces of paper (which he then leaves in his pockets, in his glove box, or on his nightstand).  Basically, you download the free app that comes with the Rocketbook and you use the special pen to write or draw anything in the notebook.  Then, you use the app to take a photo of whatever you’ve written or drawn and it emails it in a PDF–pretty neat!

7//A hanging toiletry bag is always a good thing to have, especially when your man always tries to cram his shaving lotion and razor in your makeup bag.

8//I got Coach this gym bagfor Christmas and he went nuts for it.  It has all sorts of great compartments, a laptop sleeve, and a place for nasty gym clothes.

9//If your guy doesn’t have an Apple Watch, Valentine’s Day is a great time to surprise him…he can’t ever say he missed your text or call again!

XOXO,

Court